Book Review: The Last Daughter of York by Nicola Cornick

Posted November 19, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review / 17 Comments

The Last Daughter of York
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Nicola Cornick
Publication Date November 16, 2021
Published by Harlequin
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / Siblings, Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Tudor, Fiction / Women
Pages: 342
Format: ARC

A treasure trove of historical insight, casting a new light on a compelling mystery that binds the present to the past. —Bestselling author Fiona Valpy

In the winter of 1483, Francis Lovell is Richard III’s Lord Chamberlain and confidant, but the threat of Henry Tudor’s rebels has the king entrusting to Francis and his wife, Anne, his most crucial mission: protecting the young Richard of York, his brother’s surviving son and a threat to Henry’s claims to the throne.

Two years later, Richard III is dead, and Anne hides the young prince of York while Francis is hunted by agents of the new king, Henry VII. Running out of options to keep her husband and the boy safe, Anne uses the power of an ancient family relic to send them away, knowing that in doing so she will never see Francis again.

In the present day, Serena Warren has been haunted by her past ever since her twin sister, Caitlin, disappeared. But when Caitlin’s bones are discovered interred in a church vault that hasn’t been opened since the eighteenth century, the police are baffled. Piecing together local folklore that speaks of a magical relic with her own hazy memories of the day Caitlin vanished, Serena begins to uncover an impossible secret that her grandfather has kept hidden, one that connects her to Anne, Francis and the young Duke of York.

Inspired by the enduring mystery of the Princes in the Tower, Nicola Cornick cleverly interprets the events into a dazzling novel set between a present-day mystery and a country on the brink of Tudor rule.

My Review:

The Last Daughter of York by Nicola Cornick is an exciting, romantic historical fiction book using dual timelines and set in the Tudor period in England, as well as modern times.   I flew through the pages and found both timelines equally exciting and mysterious.  

The modern timeline starts with Serena as she learns that the body of her twin sister, who mysteriously disappeared eleven years ago has been found.  She rushes back to England to find out more about her twin’s death.  Serena has suffered dissociative amnesia, and can’t remember a thing from the day her twin disappeared when they were both seventeen years old. But when she arrives in Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, she learns about some very disturbing circumstances regarding her twin’s body.  

The historical timeline starts in 1465 when Anne is married to Francis Lovell when she is only five years old.  Anne and Francis grow up as friends and eventually, their marriage becomes a love match.  Francis becomes Richard III’s Lord Chamberlain and confidante and is very loyal to the king.  As the Tudors threaten and eventually take the crown, Anne and Francis are entrusted with Richard III’s son, who becomes a threat to the Tudors.  

I loved both of these timelines, and couldn’t figure out how they were related until the very end.  There is mystery and romance in both timelines and the action kept me turning these pages until the very end.  I have not read much about this time period in England, but I found the book very interesting and it’s clear the author did a huge amount of research.  Although the book is fiction, it is based on real events.  The book also has a paranormal element that I found fascinating and really added to the mystery.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves an exciting historical fiction book with a twist of paranormal and romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

17 responses to “Book Review: The Last Daughter of York by Nicola Cornick

  1. I think this is what I’ve been looking for ! I just got more into historical fiction this year and I’ve been looking for something exciting.

  2. Ooh the connection between the two timelines sounds fun, and the paranormal element too is intriguing. I don’t always like when paranormal is mixed in with historical fiction but sometimes it just works!

  3. I haven’t read much from this time period either, but this sounds really good! Interesting that there’s a bit of a paranormal feature. I’ll check it out.